Karla Silva, PhD

Director, Hispanic Serving Institution Initiatives
Photo of Karla
She, Her, Ella

Dra. Karla Silva (she/her/ella) is a first generation college graduate, Chicana, daughter to immigrants, mama, and a scholar-practitioner. Karla's personal and professional experiences have informed the ways in which she navigates institutions of higher education. She has worked at various 4-year public and private universities working directly alongside students from historically excluded populations such as, first generation college students, high financial need students, students of color, students who were ever in foster care, unaccompanied youth, & students who are undocumented.

As a scholar-practitioner she is committed to access, equity, and inclusion in higher education. She works with students holistically using asset-based approaches such as Community Cultural Wealth (CCW), Funds of Knowledge, and Critical Race Theory. Her research includes the experiences of managerial professionals working at Hispanic Serving Institutions and using testimonios as tools of resistance for educators. Karla is also heavily involved in the Tucson community. Specifically she has been involved in immigrant rights movement with ScholarshipsA-Z since 2016. She has served as chair of the board of directors for ScholarshipsA-Z since 2020. 

Karla graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology from Northern Arizona University, a master’s degree in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctoral degree in higher education from the University of Arizona.